In 2508 Varnay was commander of a regiment on Royalston when Edward Davion, only son of First Prince William Davion was killed in a Capellan hit and run attack. Accusations were made regarding his failure to provide support but investigation cleared Varnay of wrongdoing. Three years later he married William's sister, Cassandra Davion.
William's sudden death in 2512 left his five year old grandson Alexander Davion as First Prince with Cassandra and and Varnay as two of the five regents. By the day of William's funeral, Varny was already making a bid to secure his power: securing a betrothal between his niece Cynthia Varnay and Alexander, although he was blocked from naming Cynthia as the next in line to the throne.
Varnay successfully split his opposition in 2515, naming General Nikolai Rostov to succeed the dead Prince Charles Leightan, killed in a Terran raid on Robinson. This provided Rostov with a power-base in the Terran March independent of his previous ally, Laura Davion. Following the death of Dowager Princess Carmen Davion in 2518, Varnay began purging the High Council of moderates and of Laura's supporters. In 2521 Varnay missed a critical vote of the Regency Council, absent seeking military glory on the Capellan front. In his absence, Laura proposed that Rostov be elected First Marshal of the Federated Suns, re-establishing their alliance.
Varnay abducted Alexander from New Avalon in 2523 and the following year pushed through the long-planned marriage of the young Prince to Cynthia Varnay. However, Varnay underestimated the depth of feelings between the two. Within a year Cynthia was pregnant and Varny mistakenly confided in her the plan to name himself Royal Protector should anything happen to Alexander. In May 2525 while Alexander was accompanying Varnay on an inspection of Capellan troops preparing for the imminent clash with Rostov and Laura, the young Prince escaped under cover of the celebrations of the birth of Vincent Davion.
While Varnay proved no equal to Rostov in the fighting, his political skills were far greater and when the aged General died in an assault, Varnay was able to sway many of his regiments to his side with shrewd bribes. Without Alexander - who was raising his own forces - both Cassandra and Laura named themselves First Prince. In 2530, as all sides prepared to move, Varnay was killed by an anti-Varnay riot on Ashley.